2006 marked the eleventh season of the IndyCar Series.
Fourteen rounds would be contested to determine titles for teams, chassis constructors and drivers.
The season opened in late March at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Florida and ended at Chicagoland Speedway in early September. In between these two weekends, there were races held at Saint Petersburg, Twin Ring Motegi, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Texas Motor Speedway, Richmond International Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway, The Milwaukee Mile, Michigan International Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Infineon Raceway.
There were some newsworthy stories during the offseason. Perhaps, the most significant change in 2006 was the withdrawal of Toyota and Chevrolet as engine suppliers. Teams would use the Honda HI6R Indy V8 motor. The chassis situation remained unchanged. Teams had the choice of using the Dallara or Panoz chassis. Three tracks were not included on the 2006 schedule for various reasons – Phoenix International Raceway, California Speedway and Pikes Peak International Raceway.
Several drivers switched teams; the most notable was 2005 IndyCar champion Dan Weldon, who left Andretti Green Racing for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Marco Andretti would fill the seat vacated by Weldon. Finally, rumours persisted that Indy Racing League founder, Tony George, was in negotiations with Kevin Kalkhoven of Champ Car to combine the two open-wheel series.
Round five of the 2006 IndyCar Series was held at the eleven turn 3.337-mile Watkins Glen International road course. Qualifying was washed out and the starting grid was set by practice times. The race was scheduled to be sixty laps, but after several caution periods, it was decided to change it to a timed event, which ended on lap-55.
|Scott Dixon was the winner of round five of the 2006 IndyCar Series at Watkins Glen International. The defending race winner drove the No. 9 Panoz GF-09 for Chip Ganassi. His best result to date had been a runner-up result at St. Petersburg. During the qualifying session, Dixon recorded the fourth-fastest time. Throughout the race, he remained in contention and moved into the lead on lap-47 for the victory.|
|Brazilian Vito Meira was driving the No. 4 Panther Racing Dallara IR-05 powered Honda. The team was not having a lot of success in the first four rounds. In the year's opening race, Meira lost an engine, but he bounced back with a fifth-place result at St. Petersburg. He was gridded eighth for the fifty-five-lap contest. Meira benefited from the issues experienced by the quicker competitors to finish second by 2.331-seconds.|
|Australian Ryan Briscoe drove the No.5 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara IR-05. In the first four rounds of the season, the 1996 Indy 500 champion, Buddy Lazier, drove the car. However, the team wanted a road racing specialist for Watkins Glen. This would be Briscoe's first time back in an Indy Car since his horrific accident last year at Chicagoland Speedway. He would start tenth and reward the team with a third-place result.|
|The 2004 Indy 500 champion, Buddy Rice, drove the No. 15 Team Argent Panoz GF-09. Rice and his teammate Danica Patrick withdrew from round one when the third Rahal Letterman Racing Team member, Paul Dana, died in a practice session. At Watkins Glen, Rice started eleventh and similar to Meira and Briscoe, he moved up the race order as the faster drivers encountered issues. He would finish fourth.|
|Felipe Giaffone joined the IndyCar series in 2001 with Treadway Hubbard Racing. He moved to Mo Nunn Racing the following year and scored his only series victory at Kentucky Speedway. This season, Giaffone drove the No. 14 ABC Supply Co. Dallara IR-05 for A.J. Foyt Enterprises. Before Watkins Glen, he had two top-ten finishes. At Watkins Glen, Giaffone would finish fifth after starting in the final grid position.|
|Helio Castroneves started on the pole at Watkins Glen International. He had already collected victories at St. Petersburg and Japan and was leading the points chase. Castroneves surrendered first place on the opening circuit. He remained on the lead lap, but during the final pit stop, there was a refueling issue forcing him to make a second stop. Castroneves would cross the finish line in seventh place.|
|Tony Kanaan's quickest time during the practice earned him the second starting spot. He would lead the first eight laps of the race before pitting for dry tires. Kanaan would lose the top spot but remain close to the leaders. On the restart after the sixth caution, he made contact with his teammate Bryan Herta and damaged his front wing. The wing was changed, but a spin late in the contest resulted in an eleventh-place finish.|
|Just a week earlier, before the Watkins Glen Grand Prix, Sam Hornish Jr. won the Indianapolis 500. He was gridded sixth for the start of the event in the No. 6 Penske Racing Dallara IR-05. The race started on a wet track but quickly dried, causing Hornish and other drivers to change tires just ten laps into the contest. He would spin exiting the ‘Toe of the Boot’ and fall out of contention. Hornish finished in the twelfth position.|
|1||4||Scott Dixon||Panoz GF-09/Honda||55||-|
|2||8||Vitor Meira||Dallara IR-05/Honda||55||-|
|3||10||Ryan Briscoe||Dallara IR-05/Honda||55||-|
|4||11||Buddy Rice||Panoz GF-09/Honda||55||-|
|5||19||Felipe Giaffone||Dallara IR-05/Honda||55||-|
|6||18||Ed Carpenter||Dallara IR-05/Honda||55||-|
|7||1||Helio Castroneves||Dallara IR-05/Honda||55||-|
|8||16||Danica Patrick||Panoz GF-09/Honda||55||-|
|9||14||Scott Sharp||Panoz GF-09/Honda||55||-|
|10||15||Tomas Scheckter||Dallara IR-05/Honda||55||-|
|11||2||Tony Kanaan||Dallara IR-05/Honda||54||-|
|12||6||Sam Hornish, Jr.||Dallara IR-05/Honda||54||-|
|13||9||Bryan Herta||Dallara IR-05/Honda||54||-|
|14||7||Dario Franchitti||Dallara IR-05/Honda||44||-|
|15||5||Dan Wheldon||Panoz GF-09/Honda||41||Driveshaft|
|16||3||Marco Andretti||Dallara IR-05/Honda||38||Accident|
|17||17||Eddie Cheever, Jr.||Dallara IR-05/Honda||37||Accident|
|18||12||Kosuke Matsuura||Dallara IR-05/Honda||19||Accident|
|19||13||Jeff Simmons||Panoz GF-09/Honda||18||Accident|
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